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Adding a new team

Girls' Golf: After growing interest, La Cañada squad joins school's athletic program.

August 18, 2010|Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com

For the first time, a female, Jennifer Kim of La Cañada High, qualified to play in the Rio Hondo League championship golf tournament last season.

With no girls' golf team at the school, Kim had to compete against the boys. She won't have to do that for the upcoming 2010-11 school year, as the Spartans will field a girls' squad for the first time.

"There has been an increase in girls interested in golf," La Cañada Athletic Director Craig Franzen said. "We have had a co-ed golf team, but the demand basically got to where we needed to consider [adding a girls' team]."

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Girls' golf will take off in the fall as one of 20 sports offered to Spartan athletes.

"This means that we are thriving. We have a lot of kids interested in athletics; I don't know many schools that have added two sports in the past four years," said Franzen, mentioning the girls' lacrosse team as another recent addition.

Kim, a sophomore, figures to be the centerpiece of the team in its inaugural season. As a freshman, she posted an 18-hole scoring average of 82 and was named to the All-Rio Hondo League second-team.

Now that it has its star, the team still needs a coach.

The Spartan athletic department is currently in the process of interviewing potential coaches. Its decision is expected to be announced the next week, Franzen said.

Many Rio Hondo League schools already have girls' golf teams, so La Cañada won't have to drive far to wind up on the green against a rival program. South Pasadena, San Marino and Temple City are three local schools within the league that already field a girls' golf team.

La Cañada joins the fold in a move that has been three years in the making, Franzen said, when the athletic department started seeing an increased interest from girls in golf.

"This has been in the works, it's something we evaluate on a year-to-year basis," Franzen said. "We talked about it most of last school year and made the plunge."

The goal is for around 20 girls to come out and fill junior varsity and varsity team slots. Tryouts won't be much of an obstacle, as no one will be cut and beginners will be welcomed.

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